CFPB Releases Latest Supervisory Highlights Report

September 15, 2020

In its latest Supervisory Highlights, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reported examination findings in the areas of consumer reporting, debt collection, deposits, fair lending, mortgage servicing and payday lending.

The report includes “supervisory observations” based on findings from CFPB examinations completed between September 2019 and December 2019. In addition, the report presents supervisory program developments and guidance related to COVID-19, the CFPB’s policy regarding abusive acts or practices, responsible business conduct, innovation and the pilot advisory opinion program.

The CFPB said the report does not impose any new or different legal requirements, and all violations described in the report are based only on those specific facts and circumstances noted during those examinations.

The CFPB reported it received a record number of complaints in March and April, 36,700 and 42,500, respectively. In 2019, the monthly average for complaints was 29,000. The bureau attributes the higher numbers to factors such as market conditions and more public awareness of the complaint system. The bulletin showed that mortgage and credit card complaints top the list for complaints that mention coronavirus terms, with 22 percent and 19 percent of complaints, respectively. Among mortgage complaints that mention coronavirus keywords, 59 percent of consumers identified struggling to pay the mortgage as the issue. For credit card complaints, 19 percent of consumers identified a problem with purchase shown or statement as the issue.

The report includes an overview of the CFPB’s pilot advisory opinion (AO) program, which was launched in June 2020. The AO program allows covered persons or service providers that are subject to the bureau’s authority to submit a request where uncertainty exists. Under the pilot program procedures, the CFPB then selects topics based on the program’s priorities and makes the responses available to the public.

The pilot program focuses on four key priorities:

  1. Consumers are provided with timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions.
  2. Identify outdated, unnecessary or unduly burdensome regulations in order to reduce regulatory burdens.
  3. Consistency in enforcement of Federal consumer financial law in order to promote fair competition.
  4. Ensuring markets for consumer financial products and services operate transparently and efficiently to facilitate access and innovation.

Questions or comments about the findings and legal analysis reported in Supervisory Highlights can be sent to [email protected].

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or [email protected].